I recently reviewed the Noble Audio EDC Velvet and concluded that it was one of the best IEMs in the $100 range. In fact, the sound signature reminded me of my other favorite, the Sennheiser HD1, which is also arguably the best IEM you can get for the price. So, which sound signature is for you? Let’s find out in this Sennheiser HD1 Noble vs Audio EDC Velvet Review.
Sennheiser HD1 Noble vs Audio EDC Velvet Review
IN the BOX
The fit and seal on both IEMs is great. Sound isolation is effective, and I found them both light and comfortable to wear for long periods of listening. The EDC Velvet comes with one more pair of eartips than the HD1 does. But Sennheiser has replacement ear tips easily available online.
Again, what I like about both models is that they’re both very light. Neither of them look particularly durable, but Sennheiser and Noble must be doing something right, since they both offer a 2 year warranty.
Both, the HD1 and EDC Velvet come with three button remotes/mics. The EDC Velvet has universal remote, which means it’s compatible with both, iPhone and Android devices. The HD1 comes in two versions. So, make sure you get the one that’s compatible with your phone.
The cable on the HD1 is flat, which makes it less susceptible to tangling. It’s a little thicker and wider than the cable on the EDC Velvet. The cable on the EDC Velvet is described as being designed from “Vectran fibre weave.” I don’t know what that means, but it feels like rubber. The cable is also reflective, which is great for runners or weirdos who walk the streets at 2am.
Overall Impressions: HD1’s warm, tempered and detailed vs EDC Velvet’s smooth, clean and well separated.
The HD1 and the EDC Velvet have very similar characteristics in the low frequencies. Both are warm and rich. However, the lows on the HD1 have a little more presence. And while the HD1 has a “Sennheiser softness” to it, the bass on the EDC Velvet is a bit cleaner and better separated. Both sound fantastic listening to pop and hip-hop. And those who like a warm sound when listening to rock will gravitate to either IEM.
Both earphones have a present and well balanced mid range. However, compared to the HD1, the EDC Velvet puts a little more emphasis on the upper midrange. As a result, vocals feel a little more forward on the EDC Velvet. In terms of detail and resolve, both IEMs do a great job, but they vary slightly in their delivery. Again, the HD1 has a slight softness to it, while the EDC Velvet, although smooth, feels a little stiffer and more delineated. As a result, the separation seems superior on the EDC Velvet. At the same time, listening to acoustic guitars, the HD1 conveyed a more emotive sound, handling picks and strums with a more tenderness. And this quality gave it a more nuanced feel. Which IEM works better for folk or bluegrass? That’s a personal preference. But for classical, I would opt for the slightly more transparent HD1.
Again, listening to strings in this frequency range, I found the HD1 to be clearer and more textured. The same was true for brass instruments, with the HD1 conveying a little more breath and resolve. But both have a fatigue-free smoothness that eases the edges, even at the highest registers.
The soundstage on the EDC Velvet feels more grand. But in terms of imaging, the HD1 sounds more precise, and therefore, offers are better sense of dimension.
These IEMs have so many similarities. Both are lush, warm, detailed. And both are extremely versatile in terms of genre. Personally, I prefer a very balanced midrange, so I would probably opt for the HD1. But if you like vocals to sit a little more forward, which works nicely for pop, then the EDC Velvet is your baby. At the end of the day, both are a very easy and enjoyable listening experience.
You can find these headphones for the best price at:
Audio 46: Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Headphones for iPhone (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
Audio 46: Noble Audio EDC Velvet In-Ear Headphones (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)